Golden Gate Bridge

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About the Golden Gate Bridge

​​Believe it or not, many were against building the iconic landmark that dramatically connects San Francisco to Marin. When engineer Joseph Strauss' initial design for the Golden Gate Bridge was revealed in 1922, the press declared it "ugly" and architects doubted that a suspension bridge of its length could be structurally sound. Despite opposition, the majestic Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 27, 1937 to much fanfare.​​

The Golden Gate Bridge we know and love is in an elegant Art Deco style. Strauss worked with architect Irving Morrow to select the bridge's color, International Orange, chosen for the way the hue plays against the surrounding land, sea, and ever-present fog. In case you were wondering, painting the bridge is an ongoing process that happens year-round, to protect it from the corrosive salty bay air. The bridge's name is a nod to the Golden Gate Strait, the entrance between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.

Today, the Golden Gate Bridge is recognized as one of the seven modern wonders of the world. The bridge attracts more than 10 million fans a year and is a huge reason visitors flock to the Presidio. It also links visitors to other sites in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to the north.

Things to Do at the Golden Gate Bridge

The best way to experience the bridge is by walking or biking across its 1.7 mile span, which features vista points on both the southern (San Francisco side) and northern (Marin side) ends. This really is a MUST for locals and tourists alike to get a true sense of the bridge's scale, to appreciate the marvelous view and, of course, to take some obligatory selfies.

The bridge plaza at the southern end in the Presidio features restrooms as well as the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center. Managed by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the National Park Service, the center is dedicated to telling the story of the Golden Gate Bridge. Here you can also pick up a truly tasteful memento of your visit and grab a Presidio map.

Drop in to the Round House Café to fuel up before visiting the nearby Golden Gate Overlook, Pacific Overlook, and Battery East Vista​. Then, head out to explore the Presidio by walking on the California Coastal Trail, the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the Bay Trail​, or the Presidio Promenade.

Parking, Transit, and Bikes

Word to the wise…parking is very limited at the bridge, so public transportation is your best bet, including the PresidiGo Shuttle​, which stops nearby. If you'd like to take a bus across the bridge to the north, Golden Gate Transit runs frequently. You can also rent a bicycle at Sports Base​ment at Crissy Field.

It can be incredibly windy and foggy on the bridge, so don't forget to bring layers!

FAQs

  • ​What body of water does the Golden Gate Bridge cross?

    The Golden Gate Bridge spans the Golden Gate, a one-mile-wide strait that connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

  • What areas of land does the Golden Gate Bridge connect?

    The bridge connects the San Francisco Peninsula and the Marin Headlands.

  • How much paint has been used on the Golden Gate Bridge?

    Painting the bridge is an ongoing maintenance job with more than 10 million square feet of steel to paint. It’s estimated that 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of paint are used yearly.

  • What is the height of the Golden Gate Bridge?

    At its tallest point, the bridge is 746 feet (227.4 meters)

  • When was the Golden Gate Bridge built?

    Construction began January 5, 1933 and ended on April 19, 1937. The bridge opened May 27, 1937.

  • Who designed the Golden Gate Bridge?

    The engineering design of the bridge was a collaboration between Joseph Strauss, Charles Ellis and Leon Moisseiff. The architectural designer was Irving Morrow.

  • How was the Golden Gate Bridge built?

    First, huge concrete piers were constructed in the bay at each end of the bridge. Then the towers were built, and the cables drawn between them. Finally, sections of roadway were lifted into position, and connected to the Marin and San Francisco approach roads.

  • How much did the Golden Gate Bridge cost?

    The bridge project cost more than $35 million ($523 million in 2019 dollars).

  • How long is the Golden Gate Bridge?

    The bridge is 8,980 feet (2,737.1 meters) long, or about 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers).

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